Together. The Party. Draft Constitution.
1. Name. The party shall be called The Together Party. It may be abbreviated to Together. Logos will be created that include the full and abbreviated party names.
2. Aims. The party will campaign for the restoration of government in the public interest, for the return of government to an active, constructive role in our society, for an end to privatisation, for fair and effective taxation to achieve social justice, for a broad range of policies designed to rebuild and protect the common wealth of Australia and Australians. See our Draft Policy Platform below.
3. Members. To join Together you need to provide your personal details to the party including name, address, date of birth, telephone number and email address. You also need to agree to advocate for the party, consistent with its aims, and to make your best efforts to participate in the party by attending annual general meetings (whether in person or electronically), by volunteering to support the campaigns of the party, or by assisting with fundraising and making direct donations to the party. You agree not to bring the party into disrepute and to not disparage the party without justification. Members who, in the judgement of the general committee, bring the party into disrepute or disparage the party without foundation, may be expelled (in this event, members may appeal and must be allowed natural justice or procedural fairness at all times). There will be no membership fee. Members must be at least 16 years of age. A register of members will be kept by the party.
4. Donations. Only individuals resident in Australia or Australian nationals may make donations to the party. No donations from companies or anyone or any entity other than individuals will be accepted.
5. Candidates. The party membership may decide to run candidates in any house of any Australian parliament, state or federal. The short term objective of the party is to run candidates in the 2019 federal election in the Senate in New South Wales. A majority of members must support the nomination of any candidate for the party. Any proposed candidate must be approved as ‘fit and proper’ by the general committee before being put forward for election by the party members.
6. Office Holders. The party shall have an executive of no more than 5 people who are all elected by the other members of the party at a general meeting; each member sits on the committee until the next annual general meeting:
· Chair – who leads the committee and organisation consistent with party aims
· Secretary – who is responsible for governance and compliance
· Treasurer – who is responsible for internal finances, book-keeping and reporting
· Committee members (2) – who participate in decision making of the organisation.
7. Corporate Structure. The party should become a corporate entity to be able to operate its own bank account, attract donations and encourage financial transparency. For convenience the party might begin as an Incorporated Association in New South Wales but if candidates run in other jurisdictions the party may need to become a company limited by guarantee.
8. Organisation. The party will have one national organisation. The party will not have state or territory based branches. The membership may review this position over time.
9. Finances. The party will have its own bank internet account with a community-owned banking institution. The treasurer and another committee member will have access to and operate that account on an either-to-operate basis. All cash taken by the party must be deposited within 48 hours. Any member is entitled to receive a copy of the party bank account statement. Financial statements will be generated using our bank account statements. Non-electronic transactions should be minimised. Statements will be reviewed before each committee meeting and checked for errors and anomalies.
10. Financial reports. The financial year for the organisation will run from 1 July to 30 June each year. Balance sheets and profit and loss statements (or their equivalent from time to time) will be generated and approved by the general committee. An auditor may be appointed and elected by the membership. The treasurer will oversee the preparation of reports.
11. Annual General Meeting. An annual general meeting (AGM) will be held each year in October. Members must be given at least one month’s notice of an AGM. Members may propose agenda items for the AGM. The committee of the party may decide whether to include or exclude an agenda item for the AGM. Candidates for election and formal party policy will be approved at the AGM each year.
12. Committees. The party will elect a general committee to act on behalf of members and run the organisation of the party. The general committee will include the chair, treasurer, secretary and 2 other members and be responsible for setting the direction of the party, implementing the decisions of the membership and committee, meeting compliance obligations and overseeing all campaign activities. The committee will meet quarterly. Minutes of each committee meeting must be kept including all decisions made by the committee; and the minutes must be made available to members within one month of a meeting. Sub-committees may be created by the general committee including governance, policy and fundraising sub-committees. Sub-committees need only report to the general committee but their minutes may be included in the minutes of the general committee.
13. Changes to this Constitution. The party may change any part of its constitution only by passing a special resolution, that is, three quarters of all members voting including proxy votes must vote in favour of any change.
14. Winding Up. In the event the party is wound up, any surplus from its operations will be donated to a non-profit charitable or political cause chosen by a majority of the members. In the event that the organisation owes money at the time of winding-up members will only have to pay the organisation the amount of any unpaid membership fees; if there are no fees payable then a member will have no debt to the organisation.
Note: the detail of this Constitution may need to be revised to meet the requirements of the Australian Electoral Commission and the Electoral Act. If Together becomes a company limited by guarantee, then the Corporations Act 2001 will also apply.